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Cheryl's baby: Sarah Harding and Kimberley Walsh spark speculation star has given birth

by Gemma Strong

Has Cheryl welcomed her first baby with boyfriend Liam Payne? Speculation has been mounting this week after her former bandmates Sarah Harding and Kimberley Walsh both posted Instagram tributes to the pregnant star, seemingly without explanation. Best friend Kimberley was the first, sharing a throwback snapshot of her and Cheryl together at the Brits on social media five days ago. She wrote: "Love this pic of me and @cherylofficial at the @brits #tbt 💜." Then, on Tuesday – Valentine's Day – Sarah posted a photo montage of her and Cheryl together. "#Valentines #spesh #GA #saryl #kisses to the #missus… #tour banter #good #times," she wrote in the caption.

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Kimberley Walsh shared a throwback picture of her and Cheryl together at the Brits

It comes one week after Liam, 23, was spotted arriving back in the UK from LA last Wednesday, prompting fans to speculate that Cheryl was due to give birth. One Twitter follower wrote: "Hold up, Cheryl is having the baby NOW?" Another fan noted: "Cheryl has been gone from social media for over a month. I'm pretty sure that means she's gonna have this baby soon." [sic] A social media user mused: "Wait is Cheryl in labour? Why do I keep seeing things about her baby?" Of course, neither Cheryl nor Liam have even confirmed her pregnancy – but the former Girls Aloud star's baby bump was clear to see when the couple stepped out for a Christmas carol service in November.

GALLERY: Cheryl's baby bump - All the photos!

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Sarah Harding, meanwhile, shared a photo montage of her and the pregnant singer

It’s also been reported that 33-year-old Cheryl will officially unveil her bump next month in an advertising campaign for L'Oreal, which will see her image shared online, on billboards and in magazines. A source told The Sun: "Cheryl's bump will appear in the new L'Oreal campaign which is coming out in a few weeks. The bump is obvious and she is not trying to hide it any more. It is partially visible in the still images but even more so in an accompanying video which will be going out alongside it. There is talk that the pics of Cheryl might even be on billboards in Piccadilly Circus in London."

STORY: Why Cheryl and Liam are the perfect match

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Cheryl debuted her baby bump in November when she stepped out with boyfriend Liam Payne

Although Cheryl and her partner Liam have yet to open up about expecting their first child together, Liam's One Direction band mate Niall Horan recently spoke about his friend becoming a dad, telling the Daily Star: "Liam hasn't said he is nervous, but I am sure he is. I bet he can't wait as well. It is a very exciting thing in your life. He's great and she's lovely. It will be a lovely child."